Art Market and Connoisseurship: A Closer Look at Paintings by Anna Tummers, Koenraad Jonckheere

By Anna Tummers, Koenraad Jonckheere

The query even if seventeenthcentury painters similar to Rembrandt and Rubens created the work that have been later offered lower than their names, has triggered many a heated debate. a lot continues to be unknown in regards to the ways that work have been produced, assessed, priced, and advertised. for instance, did modern connoisseurs count on masters resembling Rembrandt to color their works solely by means of their very own hand? Who used to be credited having the ability to examine work? How did a painting’s fee relate to its caliber? and the way did connoisseurship switch because the paintings marketplace turned more and more advanced? The individuals to this crucial quantity hint the evolution of connoisseurship within the booming artwork marketplace of the 17th- and eighteenth centuries. between them are the well known Golden Age students Eric Jan Sluijter, Hans Van Miegroet and Neil De Marchi. it isn't to be ignored by means of someone with an curiosity within the previous Masters and the early glossy paintings industry.

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Additional info for Art Market and Connoisseurship: A Closer Look at Paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Their Contemporaries (Amsterdam Studies in the Dutch Golden Age)

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Indd 45 07-10-2008 16:33:58 46 ANNA TU M M E R S Seventeenth-century insights as to attributing pictures Studio practices and signing habits are of course crucial when trying to recognise the master’s hand and to attribute seventeenth-century pictures. Various seventeenthcentury sources on connoisseurship throw some further light on contemporary ideas about authenticity, for they give an impression of seventeenth-century attribution practices, and therefore help to answer the question of whether these early connoisseurs faced problems that are similar to what we face today.

68 In a document dated 1606, a certain Mr. 71 Lastly, in a document dated 1658, two witnesses declared that Bartholomeus van der Helst had stated that he had painted a certain picture of Diana and that it was an original, not a copy. When he was subsequently asked if anyone else had contributed to the piece, he shook his head. While Van der Helst may have been lying – since he only shook his head, he could always say that he had never actually said so – these sources are nonetheless telling. On the one hand, these documents indicate that it was not self-evident that a work signed and sold as by a certain master was indeed entirely executed by that master.

In the history paintings that Rubens sent to Carleton, for example, the figures, not the background landscapes, were key elements; and I suspect it was for this reason that he had his landscape specialist (probably a paid assistant since he is not mentioned by name) finish these secondary passages and assured Carleton that the other (read: key) parts were entirely by himself. In any case, it looks like seventeenth-century connoisseurs, contrary to later thinkers,96 did not, in principle, judge all areas of a painting equally important.

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